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FTC Proposes Stricter Rules To Prevent Deceptive Sales Practices At Car Dealerships


If you ever have a free afternoon, read that series of articles in which a man who worked at used car dealerships in the 1990s describes all the shady practices that his colleagues employed to sell cars at prices much higher than their value.  In the last installment in the series, he said that the days of truly sleazy sales practices were coming to an end, since, by the early 2000s, customers could do enough research online to see through the salespeople’s most egregious lies.  Despite this, car dealerships still find ways to charge consumers unfairly high prices.  As a savvy consumer, you can save a lot of money by showing that you know which charges are unfair and unnecessary, but it is a lot of work.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) aims to enact new regulations that will restrict the use of unfair sales practices at automotive dealerships.  Meanwhile, if you have gotten stuck with an overpriced lemon after a salesperson at a car dealership assured you that you were getting a fair price, contact a Philadelphia used car fraud lawyer.

Bait-and-Switch Advertising

How many times have you decided to buy a car, and even put down a deposit to reserve it, but when you got to the car dealership, the sales staff told you that the car you wanted was no longer available, and the most similar available vehicle was several thousand dollars more expensive?  How often have you chosen to buy a car based on the price that a salesperson quoted you, but after you signed on the dotted line, you found out that the car had some extra features already installed, and that these would increase the price of the car?  The FTC considers this bait-and-switch advertising, and it has proposed new regulations that would ban these deceptive advertising tactics.

Junk Fees

One of the worst things about buying a car is that it always ends up costing a lot more than the sticker price.  Only a modest portion of this price increase is due to the interest you pay over the life of the auto loan if you finance your car.  Before you agree to pay, you should ask for an itemized invoice of what you are paying for.  The more you ask about the fees, the more you can get the dealership to admit that some of them are unnecessary, or at least are excessively high, and you might be able to get some of them reduced or removed.  In its new proposal, the FTC wants to do away with junk fees.  These fees are not unique to the automotive sales industry, but it is one of the sectors where they are the most widespread.

Contact Louis S. Schwartz About Protecting Yourself Against Deceptive Sales Practices

A Philadelphia consumer law attorney can help you avoid preventable financial losses related to unfair advertising and sales practices at car dealerships.  Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.



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